Last week the Obama administration worked itself up into high dudgeon over a decision by the Israeli government to green light a housing project in an east Jerusalem neighberhood. While its true the decision came down at an indelicate time -- right in the middle of Vice President Joe Biden's visit -- the actual substance of the decision was perfectly legal and in contravention of no prior agreement with the United States related to the peace process.
Last night on the magazine's Swampland blog, Klein counseled the Obama administration that an apology issued by Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the timing of the decision was "unacceptable."
Klein -- who last March insisted that President Obama should take to the bully pulpit to lecture Israel on its 'moral standing' -- concluded his post by subtly questioning the patriotism of American members of the pro-Israel group AIPAC:
I'll be overseas when it happens, but I'll be very interested to see what sort of reception the patriots at the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) give Netanyahu when he comes to speak at their annual conference at the end of this month. The appropriate response would be stone silence. (Actually, the appropriate reaction would be to withdraw the invitation to speak.) A standing ovation for Bibi--the reflexive response granted Israel's leader on these occasions--would send a controversial message here: it would give the impression that these Israelophiles approve of foreign leaders who insult the American Vice President (and, by extension, the President).
There can be honest disagreements about middle easy policy--the vast majority of American Jews, including me, would like to see a two-state solution; the American Likudniks, a minority of American Jews, would not. Every American President since Nixon has opposed the expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, and every American President since Truman has fully supported the state of Israel, morally and financially. I'd hope that all American Jews, on both sides of the two-state issue, would agree that an insult directed at the Obama Administration is an insult directed at us all...and that AIPAC members, who I'm sure see themselves as Americans first, will behave accordingly.
So it's unpatriotic to cheer an ally of the United States who is daily on the frontlines staring down radical Islamist terror? It's unpatriotic to question the Obama administration's foreign policy regarding Israel and the Mid East peace process?
Whatever happened to the Bush era leftist mantra that dissent is the highest form of patriotism?